Planning Grant (up to $2,000)
Philadelphia Unsolved: Left in the Dark - Brett Roman Williams (Documentary Series)
In an 8 episode short documentary series inspired by the loss of his own brother to an unsolved homicide, Brett Williams’ investigates the low homicide clearance rate in Philadelphia and explores the impact of gun violence on those left behind. Through interviews with family members, lawmakers, Philadelphia Police, and social service professionals, this docu-series seeks to help co-victims-- the families of the deceased whose cases remain unsolved, get closure and achieve justice for their loved ones left in the dark.
Rolling Chair - David Goodman (Documentary)
Rolling Chair is a documentary film about the history of the iconic rolling chairs in Atlantic City, and more importantly about the lives of the men (and women) who have pushed them. Through their stories, it opens a way of exploring deeper issues that are historically and currently relevant including marginalized seasonal labor, immigration, racism, tourism and urban decay.
Penntrification - M. Asli Dukan (Animated Narrative)
The University of Pennsylvania’s gentrification of West Philadelphia over the last 100 years is a textbook example of aggressive property expansion and wealth hoarding that has burdened its historic Black community with over-policing and Philadelphia city budgets with under-funding. Follow Wanda, a fictional, third generation Black Philadelphian, Penn employee and budding activist as she shares how her entire life has been affected by the machinations of the powerful tax-exempt institution. Hear how her dreams for Philadelphia’s future could be realized if Penn equitably distributed its resources.
We are born of 3 - Sannii Crespina-flore (Animated Narrative)
Thirteen year old Jade is navigating becoming a teenager and pretending to be her grandmother while helping to care for her great grandmother with dementia.
With My Own Hands - Tshay Williams (Scripted Narrative)
A girl needs to recover from a family illness.
Another Life - Yolonda Johnson-Young (Documentary)
Over 8,600 witnesses and 9,900 family members have lived under the protection of the U.S. Marshals in the Witness Security Program since 1971. From 1977-1979, I was one of those families. This is my story.
Finishing Grants (up to $3,500)
Thug - Alex Martray (Scripted Narrative)
After a chance encounter, a mother stalks the boy accused of bullying her son.
Stories From Home Care - Cati Coe (Documentary)
This short documentary illustrates what it is like to work in home care through the stories told by an immigrant from Ghana, who has been in the profession for 40 years, and is now seventy years old herself.
Smile4Kime - Cybee Bloss (Experimental Documentary)
A grieving young filmmaker struggling with mental illness communes with the spirit of her vibrant friend with whom she shared an unbreakable bond to discover how even beyond death, their friendship lives on.
In The Mourning - Jasmine Lynea Callis (Scripted Narrative)
In the Mourning is an early morning journey, following late twenty-something queer black public school teacher Kyle Morris, as he copes with his neglected mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
R.E.S.T. - Jon Appel (Scripted Narrative)
In Philadelphia, a young woman joins her mother in the fight against artificial rest.
The Stitches That Bond - Steven Berry (Documentary)
Sarah Bond, an award winning quilt-maker and cousin to the late Julian Bond, a well known Civil Rights activist shares her family's female ancestor's history and legacy on quilting.
The Nine O’clock Whistle - Willa Cofield (Documentary)
For years on Saturday night, white authorities in a small, segregated town in northeastern North Carolina blew a siren, warning Blacks to clear the downtown streets. Until one Saturday night in 1963, the Black community rebelled. This is the story of a bitter power struggle and how the two groups, Black and white, responded.
Next Level Grants ($500):
Reclaiming a Legacy - Eve Burris (Documentary)
Reclaiming a Legacy explores the intersection of music, theatre, film and race in the America of the early 1900s through the life and work of my grandfather, Jim Burris, who penned the American classic song, Ballin’ the Jack. It’s a story about finding my grandfather, and in the process, discovering the roots of the African American entertainment industry and its influence on the budding US entertainment industry.
in love, in memory - Haley Hnatuk (Documentary)
In the wake of her son’s murder, a mother moves into community activism, assembling personal and collective memories to poetically reframe an intimate loss within her city’s haunting legacy of systemic violence.
The Indonesian Community of Philadelphia - Indah Nuritasari (Documentary Series)
The history of the Indonesian community in Philadelphia.
Storming - Katrina Sorrentino (Documentary)
Logline: You never know what people’s lives are like behind closed doors. Within the walls of an unassuming suburban home in Virginia, two parents navigate grief in a hermetically sealed world, providing 24-hour care for their disabled son who isn’t dead, but isn’t living either.
Epistles of Love: The Gospels According to Edgar & Clara - Lois Moses (Documentary)
Epistles of Love is a biopic about the power of love and resilience, especially in the worse of times, dramatized through the love letters of a World War I Veteran/Postal Carrier and an early 20th century Educator/Civil Servant during the aftermath of the Great Depression.
A Lock of Hair directed by Amadee Braxton (Documentary)
Through family lore, genetic research, and neighborhood gossip, siblings try to solve the mystery of their deceased father’s paternity and reckon with the intergenerational reverberations of abandonment.
Black Power directed by Nadine Patterson (Scripted Narrative)
Black Power is a biopic about the extraordinary life of inventor, draftsman, designer and electrical engineer Lewis H. Latimer. The film, as told by his wife and life partner Mary Latimer, will chronicle their life in Boston, New York, Montreal, Philadelphia and London.
Dinagyang (JOY) directed by Jasmine Lynea Callis and Ani Gavino (Documentary)
Documentary meets dance features the indigenous Afro-asiatic people of the Philippines --the not Blackface version.
Houses of Domestic Memory directed by Lisa Marie Patzer (Experimental Media)
“Houses of Domestic Memory” is a creative look at visual patterns in archival material from the mid-1960’s using new computer vision technologies enabling the visual analysis of large collections of images. Starting with a collection of 8mm found-footage films and combining them with images of a major on-line digital archive, the culmination of “Houses of Domestic Memory” will be a series of collaged still images and looping videos.
Malawi Nutcracker directed by Fran McElroy (Documentary)
The short film tells the story of how “The Nutcracker” ballet came to be presented by youngsters in Lilongwe, Malawi and what happens when different artistic cultures meet.
Me and My Daddy directed by Chet Pancake (Scripted Narrative)
Set in rural Appalachia, a precocious 6 year old boy spends a court ordered custody weekend with his middle-class father struggling with addiction. As the next 48 hours unfold, the boy must choose between his love for his father and reaching out to family members to preserve his safety.
Paper Trail directed by Rachael Moton (Scripted Narrative)
In rapidly gentrifying North Philadelphia, two genius Black siblings at risk of eviction, begin doing the coursework of local college students in exchange for cash. When one of their clients, a white woman, goes viral from an essay they wrote, they’re forced to come to terms with her using their voices for personal gain
Slow Burn directed by Stephanie Malson (Scripted Narrative)
Two ex-lovers at a crossroad in their lives find themselves flooded with unexpected memories of each other that they are forced to reconcile.
The Difference Between Us directed by Imran Siddiquee (Scripted Narrative)
Sufia just moved into a sublet in New York, and even before she’s met her new roommate face-to-face, she feels herself falling in love - sharing her deepest secrets in the daily notes they leave each other. Yet there’s more to her roomie, and to her own story, than what’s on paper or in her dreams.
Why Improvisation Matters: World Building and the "Jazz Mind" directed by Mark Christman , ArsNova Workshop) (Podcast)
Exploring our world and how we make it up as we go along through a non-fiction podcast that explores the creativity and possibility expressed and fostered through improvisation—not only in music, but in a wide range of practices and phenomena.
Expanding Sanctuary directed by Kristal Sotomayor (Documentary)
When countless Philadelphia immigrants faced deportation because of the city’s secret sharing of its police database with Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), Juntos, a grassroots Latinx immigrant rights organization, teams up with Philadelphia’s Latinx immigrant community to put an end to this unconstitutional agreement.
Falaka Fattah and the House of Umoja directed by Jos Duncan (Documentary)
Fifty years ago, Falaka Fattah started The House of Umoja by moving active gang members into her home and drastically reduced gang-related deaths in Philadelphia.
Places of Power directed by Michael Kuetemeyer (VR Documentary and Web Based App)
"Places of Power" is an immersive Virtual Reality (VR) documentary and web-based App inviting viewers to experience North Philadelphia anew as a tapestry of knowledge, healing, and civic leadership. It features community leaders like Nandi and Khalid Muhammad, who run a penny candy store out of their living room, using candy to teach children counting and Black history.
SteelPan Now! directed by Ryan Saunders (Documentary)
“Whey pan gone?” is cry that is often heard from many a steelpan pioneer afraid that what they have fought for in the early days of the instrument’s turbulent development is now lost. SteelPan Now peers into the current world of the steelpan, its players, arrangers, composers, pan makers and early pioneers to find some answers.
Ulrick directed by Tatiana Bacchus (Documentary)
Haitian master painter Ulrick Jean-Pierre channels his ancestors and pours his soul onto the canvas with exacting detail and visceral impact. Ulrick, is a love letter to the Haitian Diaspora about a visual griot, fighting with each stroke to preserve Haitian history and her impact, while overcoming personal tragedy.
Wisdom Gone Wild directed by Rea Tajiri (Experimental Documentary)
Wisdom Gone Wild is a personal essay documentary that poses the question: can dementia can be a form of wisdom that has gone wild? Filmmaker Rea Tajiri shares daily interactions, archival fragments and performative acts from her sixteen-year journey caregiving her mother Rose. In a non-chronological unfolding, the film shuffles between hospice, early onset and mid-term dementia; a reflection of her mother’s own ‘travels through time.’
Next Level Grant:
Midnight Oil directed by Bilal Motley (Documentary)
The Maestro directed by Cedra Walton (Documentary)
Unoticed: Poverty and Depression directed by Sophia Poe (Scripted Narrative)
Abortion Helpline: This is Lisa directed by Barbara Attie (Documentary)
What is the Hyde Amendment and why is its repeal becoming a litmus test for progressive politicians? In this short documentary we see how the Hyde Amendment successfully worked to prevent those struggling financially from access to abortion. At an abortion fund in Philadelphia, counselors arrive each morning to the nonstop ring of calls from women and teens who seek to end a pregnancy, and can’t afford to.
Higher Grounds directed by Christian Graham (Scripted Narrative)
On the fateful day intelligent life arrives to destroy Earth, one slacker alien becomes sidetracked when he finds himself smitten with a bitter barista. Suddenly, our survival depends on whether or not this space-schmuck can get her number.
Women’s Mobile Museum directed by Cindy Burstein (Documentary)
A compilation of individual portraits celebrating the year long journey of the Women’s Mobile Museum, a unique vision of internationally renowned South African visual activist, Zanele Muholi. The eleven video portraits capture moments in each woman’s collective journey to learn photography while exploring and challenging the social and economic barriers of the traditional art world.
In Our Right Mind: Alzheimer’s and Other Dementias Impact on Communities of Color directed by Renee Chenault Fattah (Documentary)
Communities most at risk are not forgotten in the escalating war against the health and economic threat posed by Alzheimer’s and other dementias. This film examines why these disorders disproportionately affect communities of color; how, even with no current cure or effective treatments, there are things individuals can do to reduce the risks; and why early diagnosis and participation in clinical research is key.
Those Who Wait directed by Tyler Burdenski (Scripted Narrative)
A young misfit in antebellum Portland, ME must decide what to do when a series of prophets-- including her twin sister--convince tens of thousands that the world is ending on October 22, 1843. Does she, like the rest of her family and community, abandon her life, wealth, and abolitionist ideals in exchange for the promise of a heavenly utopia?
Next Level Grant:
Forbidden Truth directed by Audrey Cuff (Documentary)
Four Losses and a Happy Day directed by Cati Coe (Documentary)
Stevie Robot directed by Philip Asbury (Scripted Fiction)
After her mother is in a serious accident, 11 year old Olivia is forced to rely on her ingenuity, some broken appliances, and a little bit of Magic, to save her.
Philip Asbury is a Project Manager at Mural Arts Philadelphia (MAP) where he develops and implements public art projects with local/international artists in collaboration with Philadelphia youth. Prior to 2013 when he started working at MAP, Asbury held the position of “Registrar” at Fleisher Art Memorial, a community art school based in South Philadelphia. His first short film “ See Me On The Beat” in 2016 was featured in the 2016 Black Star Film Festival.
Under Pressure: The Hidden Story of Pregnancy and Preeclampsia directed by Kristine Weatherston (Documentary)
Under Pressure: The Hidden Story of Pregnancy and Preeclampsia is both a 26 minute documentary film and a podcast series anchored in personal narratives. Beyond raising awareness about preeclampsia, Under Pressure will explore a broader context – why women’s health issues have a long history of being marginalized, and what we can do to keep the spotlight on these critical issues.
Kristine Weatherston is media artist and Assistant Professor in the Department of Media Studies and Production at Temple University whose creative practice intersects archival research, family narrative, and documentary production. Through modes of nonfiction, she explores stories of survival, identity, history, and our everyday superpowers.
Sanctuary Stories Project directed by Ariel Goodman (Multimedia)
The Sanctuary Stories Project is a multimedia storytelling collaboration led by Colorado’s sanctuary leaders: Rosa Sabido, Sandra Lopez, Ingrid Encalada Latorre, and Araceli Velasquez. The project will be housed online as an interactive website that through audio narratives, original music compositions, and striking photography the women speak to their spiritual growth, their activism, and their perspectives on the system that now confines them.
Ariel Goodman is a media maker, educator, and works with young people in Philly public schools to create their own media that reflects their stories, communities, and perspectives on the world. With a background in radio, Ariel has worked with various media collectives in both Ecuador and the US to bring the voices from the streets of movements for social justice to the airwaves.
Finding Elijah directed by Yolonda Johnson-Young (Documentary)
Told from a mother’s perspective, Finding Elijah follows a young man’s journey from home; into mental illness, to homelessness, and ultimately to suicide. How a search for answers leads a mother to action.
Yolonda Johnson-Young is a Philadelphia native filmmaker, survivor, and activist. She began to learn documentary filmmaking at Scribe Video Center through the Film Scholar Program. In October 2018, Yolonda received the Leeway Foundation’s Art and Change Grant to further her endeavors as a 1st time filmmaker.
Moment to Moment directed by Michael Attie (Documentary)
Moment to Moment tackles the difficult issue of slowly losing someone you love, but is also a testament to human resilience and the power of enduring love. Carl Duzen and Susan Jewett met over forty years ago, when they were both physics and art teachers, respectively, at a Lower Merion High School. Now in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, Carl is unable to engage in the scientific inquiry of his prior physics career.
Mike Attie is a filmmaker and an Assistant Professor at the University of the Arts and Program Director of the Film + Video major. In 2014, Attie released his co-directed feature documentary, In Country — an examination of reenactments of the Vietnam War as performed by veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. In Country premiered at the 2014 Full Frame Documentary Film Festival and screened at Hot Docs, CPH:DOX, DocNYC, Camden International, Sarasota, IFFBoston, New Orleans, and Big Sky.
How to Tell an Immigrant Story directed by Aggie Ebrahimi Bazaz
Cosmic Egg directed by Anula Shetty
Who Said You Can’t Dance directed by David Block
ELDER VOICES: Wisdom for our Times directed by David Goodman
Squirrel Hill Falls directed by Hilary Brashear
Chekhov's Dogs directed by Katya Gorker
Sisters directed by Kaye Pyle
Herrings directed by Keith Chamberlain
Laoban (老板) directed by Shane Scott
Muñe directed by Catalina Jordan Alvarez
Marriage Cops directed by Cheryl Hess
Baobab Flowers directed by Gabriela Watson Aurazo
The Inside Look, An Artists’ Series directed by Jeree Edmunds
Resistance: The Battle of Philadelphia directed by M. Asli Dukan
New Divisions directed by Sarah Milinski